Book Review: Harmony in Chaos
Harmony in Chaos by C.W. Marco is a cyberpunk dystopian sci-fi with a bad-ass main character reminiscent of Tank Girl.

Harmony in Chaos by C.W. Marco is a cyberpunk dystopian sci-fi with a bad-ass main character reminiscent of Tank Girl.

Thank you to Discovery for giving me an ARC of this book in return for an honest review. You can find my original review on their website.

Commander Eris has had enough of her organisation being used to carry out covert missions by various nations. She has a great vision for the Proxy: “To become an independent nation of nationless individuals.” She wants to give her organisation of over 2,000 employees independence and freedom. This doesn’t sit well with everyone in the Proxy. Things get complicated when Eris starts to have strange visions of a Rainbow Dancer and a nightmareish Faceless Phantom, who no one else can see. Not only does she need to make her vision for the Proxy a reality, she needs to figure out what’s going on with her mind, too. “I need my 2,000-plus personnel of Proxy agents to believe I’m crazy, but not insane.”

Harmony in Chaos is available on Amazon, or add it to your Goodreads.

The blurb for Harmony in Chaos

It’s not easy leading some of the most skilled mercenaries on the planet while dealing with personal demons.

Commander Eris of the Proxy–an infamous paramilitary company known for their brutal efficiency–is sick of playing the role of a glorified hitman. She’s ready to transform her beloved organization of killers from contractors to citizens of their own–globally recognized–state. They have the resources and manpower but her fellow officers lack Eris’ megalomaniacal values.

The last major hurdle stopping Eris from dropping a bomb and spreading her influential plume of smoke are her two personified hallucinations. Eris’ first psychological agitator is an eccentric woman called the Rainbow Dancer who has a knack for performing well-choreographed routines right before tragedies. The second tormentor is a horror movie reject named the Faceless Phantom who enjoys popping in and out of Eris’ perception.

Eris finds herself in an absurd conflict between mind and matter when her two metaphysical disruptors start finagling with the “real” world.
Perhaps becoming a loving military junta isn’t on the wishlist.

A character-driven rollercoaster!

My review

Chaos in Harmony is packed with action, set in a dystopian America. While it’s described as being ‘absurd’, it’s easy to follow and not too different to other sci-fi of the genre. It has a great cast of fun characters who bring the story to life.

The story flows well, with detailed worldbuilding. While the world is very different from our own, it feels believable. Androids and AI have left many unemployed, climate change has forced the population to migrate to congested cities, and the rich have further separated themselves from ‘regular’ people through technology. Eris and Void’s visit to New Fine City was a particular highlight, a fully autonomous city with its own 1960s-style DJ. There are lots of references to pop culture throughout the book, from musical interludes to road signs to mentions of Brave New World.

Commander Eris is violent, vulgar, a drug addict, a little crazy and a real bad ass. She’s an impressive sniper and the brains of the Proxies, agreeing what contracts to take. She is a real wild card – making lots of unexpected choices throughout the book. The rest of Eris’s officers – Chaste, Regina, Void, Cyrus, and Goodnight – are an electric mix of both human and android. Each has their own skill that they bring to the Proxies. They are a ‘found family’, and despite their bickering, there’s obviously real care behind it. Scenes where they are together are very memorable – their meeting with President Humbert and the ‘skit’ at the end is particularly great! The dialogue and banter between the group flows easily, and any scene with Eris and the gang is a lot of fun.

There are a couple of typos and grammar errors throughout the book. For example, the wrong they’re/there/their used, “that’s my queue,” “messy up-due,” and some commas are missing. But this didn’t interfere with enjoyment of the story.

This is a fast-paced dystopian read with an interesting premise that’s filled with pop culture references. Commander Eris is a multi-faceted, bad ass main character, and any scenes with her Proxy crew is a highlight. Chaos in Harmony is one I’d recommend to fans of Tank Girl or the Bubbles in Space series by S.C. Jensen, which has a similar cyberpunk feel.

Trigger warnings: Lots of violence, death, recreational drug use and sexual references

C W MarcoAbout the author, C.W. Marco

C.W. Marco is an absurdist fiction writer. His literary taste include works from Franz Kafka, Kurt Vonnegut, Aldous Huxley, Joseph Heller, with the icing on the cake being other icons such as Dostoevsky and Nikolai Gogol.

He also enjoys comedies from Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, and Christopher Moore.

On the nonfiction side of the coin, he’s also a fan of Yuval Noah Harari and his deconstruction of human history.

The purpose of his stories is to inspire laughter, offend, disgust, or perhaps all of the above within the context of a social commentary.

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Harmony in Chaos is available on Amazon, or add it to your Goodreads.